How To Create Change and Focus In Your Life

Change is a part of life yet why is it so difficult? Creating goals and making a plan is one thing but being able to stay connected, on track and consistent is another thing. Patrick E. McKnight PH D, notes that everyone is different when being able to achieving a goal, so the idea that one size fits doesn’t work. It’s best to find a way that works for you so that you are not beating yourself up for not following through. The other aspect is to start with your values first then create goals from there. Check out this blog to learn more.

How to be more productive working from home

Life can be challenging and stressful in the best of times. Making lifestyles changes, like transitioning to working from home, can be even more challenging in a cluttered space. 

Beyond practical considerations like “how do I set up these video calls?”,  transitioning to working from home can challenge your work/life balance. Despite the challenge, it can be used as an opportunity to:

  • Become more adaptable with a positive mindset

  • Explore how you can mange your life better

  • Reassess the balance between your personal and professional goals


The internet provides a wealth of articles and videos that promote “life hacks” that will solve all your WFH problems, but these are only bandaids on a larger issue. Instead, it is important to go through a process where you:

  1. Identify your values, then create professional goals and make a plan

  2. Minimize anything getting in the way (physical clutter, overcommitments, digital distractions)

  3. Organize and design spaces that support your professional goals and ideal work life

  4. Sustain the spaces through habit and belief changes

Going through this process requires an openness to change. This can be challenging because it requires more time and energy to do things differently. Many coaches use a tool called 5 Steps To Change to assess what stage you’re at and the steps you can take to progress and make permanent changes. 

It’s common for real change to happen slowly.  Acknowledging that real change is not a linear process helps to take the pressure off.  It also means that you haven’t failed if you find yourself gravitating between old and new habits.

It’s ideal to have someone that can walk you through the process of making life changes so that you receive support, guidance, and insight to maintain the course, and continue to adapt to working from home.

What are the 5 Steps to Change?

Behaviour change can be challenging and many coaches use the 5 Steps Scale to Change as a tool to help. Through this process the individual gains a deeper insight on thoughts, behaviours and beliefs that are getting in the way of making change stick.  This partnership allows you to get support to move through these patterns with less stress, more guidance and the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to make and maintain changes.

There are two factors to consider before seeing where you are on the scale to change. One is how important do you think it is to change. If you don’t think it is then you are less likely to get things going.  For example, decluttering and organizing your office because your partner keeps bugging you to do it. When in reality you are not ready because you’re swamped at work with 2 new projects and you don’t feel bothered by it.  There needs to be an inner acknowledgement and awareness that it is a problem before you can truly commit to making change.

The other factor is self efficacy, which means how good do you feel about your ability to change. For example, if you feel that you just don’t have what it takes to stay organized and you feel hopeless after trying numerous times. If this is the case, it’s helpful to get support and/or resources to give you the skills and confidence to be better organized. 

If you are not feeling that there is a problem and that you don’t have the ability to change the situation then it’s unlikely that you will even consider making any changes. If you feel even a bit strongly about one you are more likely to get onto the continuum of 5 Stages to Change.

Which stage of change are you in?


Scenario: Your home office is cluttered and you often can’t find what you’re looking for. You’ve tried to clean and organize before but didn’t see much success so you figure it’s just not your thing.  

Questions to ask yourself:

  • At what point would your cluttered home office seem like a problem to you?

  • How will you know when it’s time to think about making changes?

  • What qualities in professional life are important to you? How is your situation hindering you from fulfilling these qualities with your work?

What to do: 

  • Consider: have there been times when clutter has affected your ability to get work done? Does the clutter affect anyone around you?

  • Is there something small that you can change that would help address the situation?

  • Is there a skill that you already have that will help you make this change?


Scenario: You are thinking about the benefits of decluttering and organizing your home office and how it can help you focus and achieve your career goals. At the same time, you’re thinking about how much time, money and energy it will take to really get organized.


  • What’s the one part of your office that would help the most if organized?

  • What are the reasons you haven’t changed this in the past?

  • What might help you this time in changing this one aspect of your home office?

What to do: 

  • Pick one specific category (like paperwork) you want to declutter and organize in your home office — and then list the pros and cons for doing it.

  • Do you feel that you could make the time to organize this one category?

  • Learn more about the organizing process and misconceptions you may have about it. 


Scenario: You know you want to get organized, and are starting to plan the process. You want your home office to be organized and feel less stressful. You’re looking into options and considering how you want to get started.

Questions to ask:

  • What’s one barrier that you feel will prevent you from making this change?

  • What’s one thing that can help you overcome this barrier?

  • How have you overcome similar barriers in the past when decluttering and organizing?

What to do: 

  • With your support network, create realistic goals to accomplish this first step.  

  • Schedule specific days and times to work on these goals.

  • Consider what will keep you motivated and on track with decluttering and organizing.

  • Who is going to be cheering you on to make sure you keep that positive mindset going?


Scenario: You are making time each week to declutter your office paperwork and are committed to your goal of creating a new home office that is inspiring, clean, organized and efficient.  

Questions to ask:

  • What have you done so far that has worked well? 

  • What could be done differently to make it even better?

  • Who has been supporting you / how have you been staying motivated? How can you continue to be accountable?

What to do: 

  • Reward and celebrate your success

  • Share your progress with a friend to support you along the process

  • Track your the changes you are making – particularly around the habits you are changing


Scenario: You are committed to keeping your home office clean and organized by maintaining your new habits, routines and lifestyle.  You are more focused and now looking at how to organize your time better.

Questions to ask:

  • What’s been helping you to stay organized and keep the clutter away?

  • When do you find it difficult to maintain the changes – and what do you need to make it easier?

  • What help do you need to organize your workday when working from home?

What to do:  

  • Continue to get support and encouragement to ensure you stay on track

  • Develop healthy coping strategies so that you don’t fall back into old habits

  • Continue to celebrate and track your progress

Strategies for staying focused when working from home:

Track your progress

This helps you stay focused and connected to your goals, and reminds you of what you’ve accomplished so far. It can be done in a journal (logging the work you’re putting in), in a chart (tracking specific behaviours) or even just discussing your actions with someone. 

Get support and be accountable to someone

You can’t be an expert on everything — even if you are, it’s tricky to apply your skills to yourself. (Someone once told me a scale can’t weigh itself!) Getting support from someone you trust helps you to be motivated and be accountable to someone besides yourself.

Focus on one thing at a time – don’t change everything at once

It takes time, energy and focus to make a change. If you try to change numerous things at once, you are likely to feel overwhelmed and give up. Instead, pick one change at a time and allow it to become a routine before you jump to the next goal. This method ensures lasting change. 

Stay connected to your intentions and goals to keep the momentum going

Remembering your overall purpose and motivation will support your daily efforts. You can make a dream board, write your goal on a sticky note or reflect each morning about your inventions and goals. Whichever way you do it, make sure you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

Have fun! 

Engage in the process like an adventure by being curious and light hearted when you make mistakes. This process can be challenging at times, but try not to take yourself so seriously — you will get there. 

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